Naperville North warms up before Friday’s regional final in Bolingbrook.
There are no easy games for teams placed in the murderers’ row that is the Naperville North 3A girls soccer sectional.
On Friday, Naperville North claimed the Bolingbrook regional title after it held off a second half rally from Wheaton Warrenville South.
Abby Mangefrida, Zoe Swift and Abbie Boswell each scored for the Huskies in their 3-1 victory.
“You know that you’re going to have a dogfight every game from here on out,” North coach Steve Goletz said. “That’s what makes it fun for us, you know you’re getting a great game every time. They’re going to be exciting games, and that’s all you can ask for.”
The Huskies will face Neuqua Valley next Wednesday at home in a sectional semifinal.
North broke through for two goals in a span of two minutes midway through the first half in Friday’s game.
The Huskies took a 1-0 lead 21 minutes into the game when Mangefrida’s shot from 20 yards out deflected off a Tiger defender and past goalie Abbey Fuster.
Two minutes later, a perfect feed from junior midfielder Jill Van Kampen set up a goal by Swift that put the Huskies up 2-0.
“It was perfect, Jill gave me a great ball through, and I just ran to to it,” Swift said. “She did most of the work, I just finished it.”
Wheaton South’s Alexis Jakuszewski cut the Tigers deficit in half 17 minutes after halftime. The freshman defender’s lob floated over the outstretched arms of Huskies goalie Allison Hitchcock and into the back of the net, making the score 2-1.
The Tigers had a couple chances to tie the game, but couldn’t break through. The Huskies started to breath easier with a minute left in the game after Boswell scored off a pass from junior midfielder Cora Climo to put North up 3-1.
North had a bit of a scare late in the second half when Swift went down after a collision with two Tiger defenders. Swift left the game after laying on the field for a couple minutes during an injury timeout.
However, the Huskies’ star forward returned to action seven minutes later, and after the game, Swift said she suffered a nasty scratch to her shin.
“I’m OK, it’ll be fine,” Swift said.
I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Naperville Sun and yourseason.com. It appears here.